15. 6. 2007
Sigmund Freud and Contemporary Medicine
Current appreciation of Freud’s psychoanalysis occurs (i) out of medicine and psychology (literature, art, social science, philosophy), (ii) within medicine and psychology, and (iii) in the world of dynamic psychotherapy itself.
Ad (i) Freud is accepted as one of the greatest thinkers of the turn of 20th century, whose doctrine radically changed the theory of human mind and significantly influenced the art of 20th century.
Ad (ii) The logical structure of Freud’s theory is recognized as well as his attempt to explain mental processes in a naturalistic way, but in absence of methods and tools of natural sciences.
Ad (iii) Psychoanalysis mastered relatively limited scope of individual psychotherapy of selected cases and self-understanding, which is inevitable admission ticket to the observatory of mental processes. Psychoanalysis as such either remains heretically cycled in the classical freudism or gets reshuffled in different intellectual trends and variations represented first by direct Freud’s pupils (C.G.Jung, A.Adler) and later on also by other dynamically oriented psychotherapeutic schools.
Although psychoanalysis is an unscientific discipline in a Popperian sense, Freud’s teachings revive in light of recent neurophysiological and psychological findings, particularly in the field of the study of unconscious processes in the brain, in light of recognition of importance of early and late traumas for the development of psychopathology, importance of early experience and primarily maternal care for the lifelong set-up of resilience, and as a background of understanding and coping with psychological aspects of the doctor-patient relationship. Freud’s impact on current sexology would need a special chapter.
In the lecture, the brief overview of Freud’s main merits in the cultural and scientific context of 20th century (A. Einstein, K. R. Popper, L. Wittgenstein, G. Mahler, T. G. Masaryk, J. A. Schumpeter, S. Zweig) will be presented.
Höschl C.: Co zbylo z Freuda (zakladatel psychoanalýzy a současná medicína). Dějiny a současnost, 4;2006: 37-40 [in Czech]